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Re: CSS2 Progress

From: James Green <jmkgre@essex.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 10:02:07 +0000 (GMT)
To: Hakon Lie <howcome@w3.org>
Cc: www-style@w3.org, "Eric A. Meyer" <eam3@po.cwru.edu>
Message-Id: <SIMEON.9711241007.A@sf127.essex.ac.uk>

On Sat, 22 Nov 1997 00:47:20 +0100 (MET) Hakon Lie <howcome@w3.org> 
wrote:

> Eric A. Meyer writes:
> 
>  > I was just wondering this morning how the CSS2 draft specification is
>  > progressing, both in terms of completeness and estimated time to
>  > finalization.
> 
> The CSS&FP working group (FP stands for Formatting Properties) met
> last week and we resolved a number of issues. Participants were eager
> to see the spec turing into a Proposed Recommendation sooner rather
> than later. To gain speed, it's likely that some functionality will be
> cut from CSS2 (multi-column text and headers/footers are cut
> candidates). The pieces we cut are likely to end up in a separate note
> pointing forward. To increase accessibility, generated text is a
> candidate for addition.

Going from previous experience, would the 'cutting' of such features be 
wise? Following your publication of CSS2 on the web, I'm sure before 
the year is out (maybe January even) Microsoft and Netscape will 
release 'upgrades' for CSS2 partial complience just as they have done 
for HTML 4.0 - even that has still to be finallised.

I do get sick of getting a new browser and it having the 'latest' 
functionality when pieces of that 'latest' bit aren't standard yet - 
HTML 4.0 being the classic example. For those people who download such 
large files, having to upgrade the browser a second time because the 
'standard' has changed is highly annoying, not least because the 
'standard' wasn't such a thing in the first place.

If you decide to cut bits out, it'll only slow down progress. It takes 
a few months for the majority of the world to be able to upgrade to the 
latest standard, so having these new developments come sooner rather 
than later is a must IMHO. Give MS and NS a reason to incorporate 
headers, footers and multi-column text - it won't take them long to 
implement them at the rate they programme, so make it a standard which 
YOU have set, rather than have them take your idea, implement it 
themselves in their OWN standard which you later conform to yourselves, 
with a little alteration. Classic example of this happening is frames. 
With Nescape and IE jumping the gun to have frame-capable browsers, 
they implemented their own way of specifying borderless attributes - 
something the W3C have only just come up with, specifying a different 
way about it too - so now webmasters have to compensate somehow (I'm 
working on that one).

W3C must be seen to be ahead of the corporates and setting the 
standard, rather than failing to apply MS and NS standards in their 
work. Sure, cut out multi-column text, and watch how NS have produced a 
version themselves, something no other browser (correct me if I'm 
wrong) can do, causing yet more problems for the webmasters.

The Web should not require links to IE and NN 'enhanced' versions - it 
should all be one standard.


****
Idealistic view from James Green (c).


Term e-mail: jmkgre@essex.ac.uk   |   Home e-mail: jg@cyberstorm.demon.co.uk
Homepage: http://www.cyberstorm.demon.co.uk
Received on Monday, 24 November 1997 04:58:27 GMT

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